A Twitter War Has Erupted Between Wendy's And Dunkin'

Massive fast food companies such as Wendy's and Dunkin' have a few ways they can market themselves. Both have run Super Bowl ads in recent years, which always generate a lot of buzz (via Eater and Huffpost). But Business Insider states that a 30-second commercial during the big game can cost an average of $5.6 million, with the price going up every year. Tweeting, on the other hand, is basically free — and few things generate as much buzz as a spicy tweet from a notoriously saucy Twitter feed like the one run by Wendy's. If we're going to get the accounting right, we need to say that Wendy's pays a team of employees good money to tweet out zingers trolling customers and rival chains (via Mashable). Their salaries likely don't add up to nearly $5.6 million per year, though.

Wendy's Twitter has had a reputation for a few years now of pulling off some serious burns on its competition, and they even spent the big bucks to go after McDonald's "Frozen Arches" and their hamburgers during the 2018 Super Bowl. Any chain that tries to start a Twitter war with Wendy's is just asking for trouble, so Dunkin' had to know what it was in for when it tweeted a photo of a person in a donut costume standing in front of a Wendy's and holding a sign that read, "You don't have to settle for spicy nuggets."

Dunkin' wasn't hating on Wendy's, it was "clout chasing"

Dunkin's dig at Wendy's on Twitter was intended to bring attention to its new Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut, and Wendy's took the bait, firing back with the suggestion that a single Wendy's location is probably more popular than Dunkin's Twitter feed. "More people probably saw this in person than have seen this tweet," Wendy's replied. Except that by engaging, Wendy's brought its 3.7 million Twitter followers into the conversation, joining the considerably smaller group of 1.2 million who may have had the chance to see the original Dunkin' tweet. Twitter user @Rbsell32 tried to play peacemaker between the two chains, tweeting "What's with all the hate towards @Wendys?" Wendy's response to the defense was on point: "It's not hate, it's clout chasing."

Wendy's has seen a similar thing before. Burger King had its mascot stand in front of a Wendy's restaurant earlier this year, tweeting a photo of the king holding up a sign that read, "Roses are red, violets are blue, patties are round." Wendy's clapped back, "Look who dropped by to see what Spicy Nuggets were supposed to taste like." Burger King didn't pull this stunt because it's a glutton for punishment, like Dunkin', BK was piggybacking on another company's much larger Twitter following to go "clout chasing." There are no losers in a Twitter war, says social media consultant Dre Fox. "Everybody comes away from the table with more attention" (via The Washington Post).